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Basking in the afterglow

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Back when Frank Yallop was done with his first draft of putting together a roster from scratch, he took a look at the defense he'd assembled and said the Quakes should be difficult for other teams to break down. We're seeing that forecast coming true, as the Quakes didn't give up much against Chicago, and then kept a clean sheet in Colorado. With former MLS MVP Christian Gomez running the offense, the Rapids had scored 7 goals in their first 3 games, which (at the time) tied them for the league's best offensive output. Well done, D!

Things happen fast around MLS. Last Sunday I wrote that the Quakes had "no new names" under consideration at forward, and by Tuesday it's "Hello, Jean Philippe Peguero." Not a bad addition, he's another MLS veteran (20 goals, 13 assists in 58 MLS regular season games) and even if Kei Kamara can score goals in this league you can't have too much offense. No word (yet) about whether or not Peguero will be ready to go next Sunday against his old ‘mates the NewYork/New Jersey /and parts of Southern Connecticut MetroRedStarBulls. As of today, the Quakes web site doesn't mention JPP at all. So the work in progress (key word: progress) continues.

Looking ahead, the Quakes begin play in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, Apr. 30, hitting the road to take on Real Salt Lake (a 6:00 Pacific Time kickoff). The winner will advance to play the Columbus Crew in Columbus. While I'm glad MLS participates in the U.S. Open Cup (something the old NASL never did), I wish the tournament itself could get some more love from the league.

The U.S. Open Cup dates back to 1914, but MLS has spent far more time inventing trophies like the coveted "Brimstone Cup" for regular season meetings between Chicago and Dallas (it used to be Fire vs. Burn, get it?) than promoting this tournament that helps connect MLS to the greater soccer community across the country. Checking the Quakes web site, their home page doesn't even list the Open Cup game under "upcoming matches." (It does show up, however, on the "schedule" page. Not Good Enough.)

Here's a thought: the folks at Soccer United Marketing could coordinate the Open Cup Final with the yearly Soccer Hall of Fame vote, and maybe schedule the match to be played in media-capital-of-the-world New York once Red Bull Park is up and running next year to help the game might seem more like an Event. ‘Til then, the league could at least give us a heads up as to when the games will be played.

(Since I mentioned the HOF, let me ask a quick question. Why, exactly, is the Soccer Hall of Fame in the middle of nowhere, a.k.a. Oneonta, New York? Baseball fans are all taught the myth about Abner Doubleday's inventing that sport in Cooperstown, but what is the connection between soccer and Oneonta?)

Okay. Focus. Next game: Red Bulls. Sunday. Noon. Telefutura.

Enjoy!